Cultural Heritage Imaging


Everything is better in 3D by chicaseyc
August 29, 2016, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Guest Blogger, Technology, Training, Workshops | Tags: , , ,

Lauren Fair is Associate Objects Conservator at Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library in Buffalo, New York. She also serves as Assistant Affiliated Faculty for the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC). Lauren was a participant in CHI’s NEH grant-sponsored 4-day training class in photogrammetry, August 8-11, 2016 at Buffalo State College. She posted an account of her experience in the class in her own blog, “A Conservation Affair.” Here is an excerpt from her fine post.

using-scale-barsI have discovered the perfect way to decompress after a four-day intensive seminar on 3D photogrammetry:  go to your friend’s cabin on a small island in a remote part of Canada. While you take in the fresh air and quiet of nature, you can then reflect on all that you have shoved into your brain in the past week – and feel pretty good about it!

The Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI) team – Mark, Carla, and Marlin – have done it again, in that they have taken their brilliance and passion for photography, cultural heritage, and documentation technologies, and formulated a successful workshop on 3D photogrammetry that effectively passes on their expertise and “best practice” methodologies.

The course was made possible by a Preservation and Access Education and Training grant awarded to CHI by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

(Read the rest of Lauren’s blog here.)

 

 



Four Days with CHI: Reflections on January’s Photogrammetry Training by chicaseyc
February 22, 2016, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Guest Blogger, Technology, Training | Tags: , , ,

Our guest blogger, Emily B. Frank, is currently pursuing a Joint MS in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and MA in History of Art at New York University, Institute of Fine Arts. Thank you, Emily!

I’ve been following the development and improvement of photogrammetry software for the past few years. As an objects conservation student with a growing interest in the role of digital imaging tools in the study and conservation of art, I’ve always found photogrammetry of theoretical interest. In my opinion, until recently the limited accuracy of the software and tools impeded widespread applications in conservation. With recent advances, this is no longer the case; sub 1/10th mm accuracy has changed the game.

This January, the stars aligned and I was able (and lucky) to participate in CHI’s January photogrammetry training. From January 11 to 14, I lived and breathed photogrammetry in CHI’s San Francisco studio. The four-day course was co-instructed by Carla Schroer, Mark Mudge, and Marlin Lum, who each brought something extraordinary to the experience.

PG-training-2016-650x370

CHI’s January 2016 photogrammetry class: blogger Emily Frank is fourth from the right.

For those of you that don’t know them personally, I’ll provide context; these guys are total gurus. Carla brings business and tech know-how from years of work in Silicon Valley earlier in her career. She has a warm and direct teaching style that is accessible no matter what your photography/imaging background. Mark is a true visionary; he is rigorous and inventive, and always carefully pushing the brink of what’s possible. Marlin is the photographer of the group and a master at fabricating the perfect tool/workstation for the capture of near-perfect source images. His never-ending positivity is contagious. Together they are practically unstoppable. It’s obvious that they love teaching and truly believe in the power of the tools they are sharing.

The class began with a brief theoretical introduction, then dove into practical aspects of capture and processing. We swiftly covered how to approach a range of situations, what equipment to use, where to compromise, and where to stick to a specific protocol, etc. We focused on methodology, and we practiced a lot. We moved through capture and processing of increasingly complex projects, and we received detailed handouts to supplement everything we were learning. The class also afforded students the opportunity to work on a larger group project; this January we captured a 3D model of a reproduction colossal Olmec head located outdoors at City College of San Francisco. CHI focuses on repeatability and process in order to achieve a robust, reproducible result.

2016-CHI-photogrammetry-training

Setting up for image capture at the January 2016 photogrammetry class; blogger Emily Frank is far left.

An added benefit of the class was the insight gained through conversation with the other students, who included museum photographers, landscape photographers, archaeologists, classicists, 3D-imaging academics, and the founder of a virtual reality start-up. This diversity fostered a breeding ground for inventive implementation, and the inevitable collaboration left me envisioning new ways to employ photogrammetry as a tool in my work.

For those of you who have ever considered the use of photogrammetry, I would strongly encourage you to sign up for one of CHI’s upcoming trainings. I still have a lot to learn and master, but I left the training with the feeling that with practice I would be able to capture and process 3D data with the accuracy and resolution to meaningfully contribute to the academic study of works of art.

Notes from CHI:

 



NEW: RTI glossary now available by cdschroer
March 16, 2014, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Commentary, News, Training | Tags: , ,

Glossary word cloudOver the years we have received a lot of requests for a glossary of terms used in RTI, and we are happy to announce that a new “Glossary of Photographic and Technical Terms for RTI” is available on our website!  It includes photographic terms you need to know for RTI, like “Depth of Field,” “Color Temperature,” and “Aperture.” Also included are technical terms from computer graphics and computer vision like “BRDF,” “Fitting Algorithm,” and “Phong Lighting Model.”  We have included terms for file formats like DNG, XMP and TIFF, along with basics in multi-spectral imaging such as “Infrared” and “Ultraviolet-induced Visible Fluorescence Photography.”  We also included terms related to keeping good process history in your RTI work, including “Digital Lab Notebook,” “ICOM-CIDOC,” and “Empirical Provenance.” We did our best to adapt the definitions for RTI users, and we also included a few notes and recommendations on photographic settings.

As always with our work at CHI, this project was a collaboration.  Lots of folks offered terms they wanted to see defined, and some provided definitions. We especially want to thank Tom Malzbender for definitions for many of the technical terms;  Yosi R-Pozeilov for sharing his extensive glossary of photographic terms; and technical writer Judy Bogart for pulling it all together. And finally, we had a wee bit of funding for this work from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as part of a larger grant project in their 21st Century Museum Professionals grants.  Much of the work was done through volunteer efforts.

If you value this kind of documentation, along with the free open source RTI software, please consider making a donation to help support it.



Join us! New Free Forums for the RTI Community by cdschroer
September 24, 2012, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Commentary, Grants, Training

This week we are rolling out CHI’s new free forums  for the community of people who are developing and adopting Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and related computational photography. We have had the idea to do this for some time, and after trying a couple of different forum software packages, getting input from friends, and tinkering with some of the forums setup, we are now ready to invite the larger community. Join us! Sign up for a forums account now: go to http://forums.culturalheritageimaging.org and click the link “Sign In” in the upper right of the window to begin setting up your new account.  You can look at content in the forums without an account, but a free account is required to post there (this is to keep the spammers at bay).

As our RTI training has expanded, and more people are adopting RTI, we are frequently asked how users can see what other people are doing with the technology, and whether CHI offers a place to find answers when difficulties arise. We know many people want to keep up with the latest news on software releases, equipment, and related topics. Our forums were created to answer these needs.  We hope to see the RTI community help each other and share their experiences and insights.

I’d like to say thank-you to those who made this new forums service possible.  First, thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) because we were able to use a little funding from our 21st Century Museum Professionals grant to get the forums going.  This grant, which has enabled 10 4-day training sessions in RTI — we just finished the 9th one this month — has also helped us support updates to our software, user guides, and other materials associated with the adoption and use of RTI at museums and libraries. Sarah Ross did a fine job installing and setting up the forum software for us! The team at CHI has already added content to get the forum going and answered questions that have come in.  We have had a great group of beta testers who tried this out,  posted content, and gave us feedback.

We hope that you, members of our community, will engage in the forums, asking and answering questions to help each other. This is just the beginning; we plan to expand the forums to cover additional topics as the need arises.  Please write to us and let us know what you want from the forums: what will make them the truly useful for you? Send your comments or questions in an email to: forums at culturalheritageimaging.org



Zero Out Settings by marlinlum
June 27, 2012, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Commentary, Training, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

During the post processing phase, when you open your DNG files in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), you have an opportunity to adjust your white balance and your exposure compensation. Prior to making these adjustments …

We recommend that you create a “Zeroed Out Settings” custom preset, and apply it to the entire image set. Consider making this your default preset for Adobe Camera Raw. To do this, set all of the settings to 0, then save as a named preset using the flyout menu for the Basic image adjustments panel. In particular, make sure all sharpening options are set to 0.

zero out settings

Make sure that your Zero Out Settings match the above screen shot (click image).

Check the settings in all of the tabs. The first three tabs (Basic, Tone Curve, and Detail) have default settings that are non-zero; the radius setting on the Detail tab cannot be less than 0.5. In other tabs, default settings are already zero. (as taken from page 5 in the RTI Highlight Processing Guide v1.4)

‘Zeroing Out’ data ensures that your data is not being processed, interpreted or stylized to fit consumer tastes.



An Evaluation of Decorative Techniques on a Red-Figure Attic Vase from the Worcester Art Museum by marlinlum
September 6, 2011, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Guest Blogger, On Location, Training

In July we were back at the Worcester Art Museum Conservation lab to give a training in our IMLS sponsored 21st Century Museum Professionals program.  The Worcester conservation team was the first conservation lab to see the potential for Reflectance Transformation Imaging for art conservation back in 2006.  We built a lighting array for them, and delivered it and a training in May of 2008.

It was great to be back with that team and to see a bit of what they have been up to.  We were really impressed with their RTI work on Greek Vases.  They gave us permission to post a paper about this work so others in the RTI community can see it.

See below for more information on the publication:

An Evaluation of Decorative Techniques on a Red-Figure Attic Vase from the Worcester Art Museum using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and Confocal Microscopy with a Special Focus on the “Relief Line”

Authors: Paula Artal-Isbrand(1), Philip Klausmeyer(2), Winifred Murray(3); 1,2,3 Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609, U.S.A.

ABSTRACT

Decorative features on a Greek red-figure stamnos in the collection of the Worcester Art Museum were examined using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and scanning laser confocal microscopy. These two surface examination tools helped to answer questions relating to the decorative process, particularly the tools and techniques that Attic painters used to create the so-called glossy black “relief lines” and “relief dots.” This research also incorporated fabricated mock-ups to help understand the ancient technology. It was determined that the relief line was not produced by an extruded method, but with a brush made of one or very few hairs, an idea first proposed by Gérard Seiterle in 1976 and termed Linierhaar. It was observed that not one but two distinct types of relief lines exist: the “laid” line (proposed by Seiterle) characterized by a ridge running through the middle of the line and the “pulled” line (proposed in this paper) which has a furrowed profile. Both line types were reproduced with a Linierhaar. Additionally, relief dots were replicated using a conventional brush. Surface examinations of other red-figure vessels using RTI and the confocal microscope suggest these conclusions apply to vessels of this genre as a whole.

Download the Publication: An Evaluation of Decorative Techniques on a Red-Figure Attic Vase from the Worcester Art Museum using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and Confocal Microscopy with a Special Focus on the “Relief Line”

Thanks again to the team at Worcester for their wonderful hospitality and collaborative spirit!  Keep up the great work.

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RTI BUZZ AT AIC by marlinlum
June 9, 2011, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Conferences, Training

June 8, 2011

Buzzed at AIC

At the recent annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) in Philadelphia, I was happy to see both past and future participants in the IMLS-sponsored CHI RTI training session program. I had to break the news to some interested parties that the sessions at the Worcester Art Museum and at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art are already filled (with waiting lists) – but a few openings remain (apply here) in the sessions scheduled for the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Since AIC, several spots have already been taken.

Of course, conservators always want more visual information, and have been quick to understand the benefits of RTI for their work. Once conservators attend a CHI training session, RTI adoption spreads throughout the conservation community. At AIC, I heard several tales of conservators reaching out to their curatorial colleagues, presenting the extremely detailed technical art historical information to be gained from RTI. Curators were impressed! The ability to acquire this kind of detail is one of the hallmarks of RTI – in fact, in CHI’s Kress video Debbie Evans (paper conservator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) mentions that RTI can allow the conservator to provide this important, detailed information to the curator. We look forward to more wonderful conservator/curator interactions!

By Elizabeth Peña

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